Notley to skip premiers conference so she can focus on pipeline deal

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe					Mark Taylor  The Canadian Press

The simmering battle between British Columbia and Alberta heated up again on Tuesday as B.C. filed a statement of claim in Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench.

"It is Alberta's view that the Trans Mountain pipeline must be built if the country and its provinces are able to fund Canadian priorities, such as pharmacare", Alberta deputy premier said, attending in place of Premier Notley, who boycotted the conference saying she needed to focus on KMI's May 31 deadline for getting the pipeline issue settled.

"Second, it provides certainty that Kinder Morgan is requesting in order to allow them to continue their work in constructing the Trans Mountain Pipeline", Black said during the senate's third reading of the bill, calling it "extraordinarily straightforward".

During a press conference on May 16, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley used her strongest language yet in reiterating her promise to cut off all oil and gas flow into British Columbia if the province did not stop its opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline project.

Premier Notley initially praised the Horgan move as a step in the right direction ("stepping back from the brink and abiding by the law") and suspended her wine boycott. "That is not a thing we are going to let happen".

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On Thursday, B.C. announced plans to launch a lawsuit over new Alberta legislation that could restrict fuel exports to the West Coast. The annual meeting brings together leaders of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, B.C., Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. But in the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, B.C. argues Alberta can not punish it for that stand by cutting off domestic fuel supplies.

The indemnity announcement eased Alberta's credit risk by alleviating some of the project's financial concerns, Moody's wrote in an investor report, but "significant uncertainties remain".

Premier Horgan says the reference case amounts to nothing more than asking the courts to clarify jurisdiction and vet some proposed changes in the provincial Environment Management Act.

This follows last week's approval of legislation making it possible for Alberta to limit how much oil is transported through Kinder Morgan's pipeline to B.C.

The latest legal action further strains an acrimonious relationship between the two provinces over the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. "For Alberta, all other issues had to be subservient to that", he said.

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